Nuclear medicine scans use a special camera (gamma) to take pictures of tissues and organs in the body after a radioactive tracer (radionuclide or radioisotope) is put in a vein in the arm and is absorbed by the tissues and organs. The radioactive tracer shows the activity and function of the tissues or organs.
Depending on the area of the body and the type of scan is used. Nuclear medicine scans use small amounts of radioactive dye (tracer) to highlight areas of concern, such as cancer cells or infection. There are many types of nuclear medicine scans. Nuclear medicine scans do not hurt. Allergic reactions to the tracers can occur, but they are extremely rare and are usually mild.